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Births: Donatien Alphonse-Francois, Marquis de Sade, writer and libertine, 1740; Thomas Hardy, novelist, 1840; Sir Edward William Elgar, composer, 1857(Peter John) Johnny Weissmuller, swimmer and film 'Tarzan', 1903.

Deaths: Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian nationalist leader, 1882; Victoria (Vita) Mary Sackville-West, writer, 1962; Sir Rex Carey Harrison, actor, 1990.

On this day: the world's first patent for wireless telegraphy was granted to Guglielmo Marconi, 1896; clothes rationing began, 1941; the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in Westminster Abbey, 1953.

Today is Corpus Christi and the Feast Day of St Attalus, St Erasmus or Elmo, St Eugenius I, pope, Saints Marcellinus and Peter, St Nicholas the Pilgrim, St Pothinus and his Companions and St Stephen of Sweden.